After a Varanasi court on Monday ordered district officials to seal a part of the Gyanvapi mosque where a shivling has allegedly been found during a video survey, Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee lawyer Mohammad Tauhid Khan has opposed the claims, saying that the structure was not a ‘shivling’ but rather a part of a fountain.
Speaking to NDTV, Tauhid Khan said, “The structure is not a shivling. To operate a fountain, a certain technique is used. The structure is a part of to remove water out of the fountain but definitely not a shivling. When you see the design there are holes around it and they also have lights to illuminate the fountain. If you are calling that shivling, then that is wrong.”
“I respect the court’s order. But it is against the law and biased. If there is a plea from the other side, a copy should be provided to us also. No procedures were followed, and neither did we receive any copy. The case was heard in the chamber and an order was passed. This order is against the law.”
The management committee of Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Varanasi, which is the caretaker of Gyanvapi mosque has filed the petition in the Supreme Court. The petition challenging the survey will be heard on Monday.
Asserting that Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee counsel was not given a chance to speak, he said, “It’s neutral justice only when the court listens to both the sides. They should give chance to both of us but they neither listened to me nor gave me a chance to speak. So where is this justice?”
The management committee has said that the survey is an attempt to disturb communal harmony and contravenes the 1991 Places of Worship Act, which has prohibited the conversion of places of worship from one religion to another, with the exception of Ayodhya’s Babri Masjid site.
The Varanasi court on May 12 had granted permission to the survey commission for conducting a three-day videography inside the Gyanvapi masjid, located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple, which was concluded on May 17.